Jane Bonham Carter, Baroness Bonham-Carter of Yarnbury

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Jane Bonham Carter, Baroness Bonham-Carter of Yarnbury speaking at a Liberal Democrat conference in the Hilton Brighton Metropole.

Jane Bonham Carter, Baroness Bonham-Carter of Yarnbury (born 20 October 1957) is a British Liberal Democrat politician.[1]


Bonham Carter was educated at St. Paul's Girls' School, an independent school in Brook Green, Hammersmith, west London, and at University College London, part of London University.


Jane Bonham-Carter worked in television before becoming a peer, spending time at both the BBC and Channel 4, producing programmes such as Panorama, Newsnight and A Week In Politics.

In 1996 she became the Liberal Democrats' Director of Communications, a role she held through the 1997 election before returning to a career in television as an independent producer at Brook Lapping Productions, where she produced a number of documentaries for Channel 4, the BBC and ITV, including the award winning series ‘Maggie: the First Lady’.

In 2004 she was created a life peer as Baroness Bonham-Carter of Yarnbury, in the County of Wiltshire, and became spokesperson on Broadcasting and the Arts.

She has sat on various House of Lords Select Committees, including the one set up in 2005 to look into the BBC Charter Review, and then the Communications Committee.

After the 2010 election she was elected Deputy Convenor of the Liberal Democrat Peers and was appointed Co-Chair of the Liberal Democrat Parliamentary Party Committee on Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport, which includes being lead Lib Dem spokesperson on DCMS matters in the House of Lords.

She has been on the Advisory Committee of the think-tank Centre Forum since 2005, and RAPt (Rehabiliation for Addicted Prisoners Trust) since 1999. She was on the board of the National Campaign for the Arts from 2010-2012.

She is a Vice-President of the Debating Group.[2]


She is from a political family. Her great-grandfather was Herbert Henry Asquith, 1st Earl of Oxford and Asquith, the former Prime Minister, and her grandparents were Sir Maurice Bonham Carter and Lady Violet Bonham Carter, Baroness Asquith of Yarnbury. Her father Mark Bonham Carter, Baron Bonham-Carter was a Liberal MP and a Liberal Democrat life peer. Her aunt Laura Bonham-Carter, Baroness Grimond of Firth married Joseph "Jo" Grimond, Baron Grimond of Firth, a former Leader of the party. This is the only example of three generations gaining life peerages under the 1958 Life Peerages Act (the three judges Baron Russell of Killowen were created under the Appellate Jurisdiction Act of 1876).

She is a cousin of the actress Helena Bonham Carter.


She was criticised when it was claimed that she and her partner, Baron Razzall, share a flat but both claim expenses from the House of Lords,[3] though they are not breaking any rules.

Styles and titles[edit]

  • Miss Jane Bonham-Carter (20 October 1957 to 21 July 1986)
  • The Honourable Jane Bonham-Carter (21 July 1986 to 23 June 2004)
  • The Right Honourable The Baroness Bonham-Carter of Yarbury (23 June 2004 to present)

See also[edit]